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Heart of glass

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Colour-backed glass, crisp stainless steel and sleek white tiles introduce a serene, contemporary look to this new bathroom in a renovated villa

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In any villa renovation, the bathroom is right up there with the kitchen when it comes to work priorities. And these days it gets just as much attention as the kitchen – and often has a similarly large budget.

This new bathroom in an old villa reflects a contemporary design approach by architect Jonathan B Smith. In designing the bathroom for his own home, Smith opted for materials that would enhance a light and airy look. The use of stainless steel and colour-backed glass repeats a theme developed in his new kitchen.

"I wanted to create a clear difference between the old parts of the house and the new," Smith says. "Consequently, both the bathroom and kitchen are very modern."

Colour-backed glass lines three walls in the bathroom, enhancing the sense of a translucent, watery environment. A fourth wall features sleek, white brick tiles, laid in a soldier pattern.

"As with the kitchen, the bathroom presents a series of smooth planes," says Smith. "A narrow window by the shower appears to turn and create another plane on the ceiling. This panel is a light box that echoes the dimensions of the window."

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Three different flooring materials delineate the separate areas of the bathroom. The dry floor area features kauri floor boards, while the semi-wet area has a concrete slab with underfloor heating. The wet area features a stainless steel tray and grills.

"The entire floor slopes to the flush shower tray, avoiding the need for a shower cubicle," says Smith. "This helps retain a light, spacious look."

A cantilevered toilet and customised stainless steel vanity unit also enhance the sense of space.

Storage is provided by a timber cabinet near the door, and a smaller cabinet above the vanity, which features a series of frosted glass doors – another innovation borrowed from the kitchen.

First published date: 12 January 2005

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Credit List

Architect Jonathan B Smith, ANZIA, NKBA, Bellingham Architects (Auckland)
Builder Aaron McKenzie
Custom vanity Fabricated by Sheetmetals Ltd and Ace Kitchen Cabinets
Fittings Opere Zucchetti Spin range from Il Bagno
Custom shower stall Fabricated by Sheetmetals Ltd; steel shower grills fabricated by NZSF Stainless
Bath Centroform from Franklin Plumbing
Flooring Concrete from Firth
Wallcoverings Graphic Glass
Tiles The Tile Warehouse
Toilet Duravit from LG Carder
Towel warmer DCS from LG Carder
Lighting Custom inset fluorescent light box
Accessories Freedom Furniture
Flowers Vida Flores Photography by Kallan MacLeod